The media reports refer to a ten-year old study that was not released because the main co-authors disagreed on conclusions based on the data. The research has not been peer-reviewed nor published. To understand the facts on this issue we recommend reading research that has passed the rigour of a peer-review and is based on most recent data. Over the last decade, Piscine orthoreovirus (“PRV”) has been widely researched in BC, Washington and Alaska, and scientific consensus has concluded that the virus poses minimal risk to fish health.
- In 2015, researchers studied archival samples (from 1977) and found that PRV existed in British Columbia well before salmon farming.
- In 2015, researchers found that they could not produce jaundice in the lab by injecting PRV from jaundiced Chinook salmon into Chinook, Atlantic and Sockeye salmon.
- In 2015 & 2019, the Government of Canada’s Department of Fisheries and Oceans concluded that PRV attributable to Atlantic salmon farms in the Discovery Islands area poses minimal risk to Fraser River Sockeye salmon abundance & diversity.
- In a 2018 survey of wild salmon in Alaska and Washington state, researchers found that PRV was widespread in wild populations and never any clear evidence that PRV causes disease by itself.
- In 2020, a US-based study injected PRV extracted from Atlantic salmon into juvenile Chinook, Coho and Rainbow trout and failed to produce any notable disease or mortality.